Ruth Bader Ginsburg Gets a Statue, Noa Santos Returns, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The National Medal of Honor Museum by Rafael Viñoly Architects in Arlington, Texas

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Rafael Viñoly Architects shares new visuals for the National Medal of Honor Museum.

The National Medal of Honor Museum, dedicated to U.S. Armed Forces Medal of Honor recipients, is currently underway in Arlington, Texas. Rafael Viñoly Architects has unveiled early renderings of the structure, which will feature a 25,000-square-foot steel monolithic gallery building accessed by two dramatic spiraling staircases underneath. The Uruguayan architect reportedly strained himself while lifting a metal slab in his studio, which made him recall the burdens often faced by armed forces. “The strength of steel—forged in fire—is akin to the strength of our armed forces, which is forged in the heat of battle,” the architect wrote in a statement. The ambitious structure, which replaces Moshe Safdie’s scrapped scheme for the museum in South Carolina, will be built along Mark Holtz Lake near Globe Life Park and the AT&T Stadium, home to the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys.

The art critic and curator Lea Vergine, wife to Enzo Mari, dies one day after her husband.

One day after the legendary Italian designer Enzo Mari died in Milan due to complications caused by Covid-19, his wife, the prominent curator and art critic Lea Vergine, passed away from the same illness. Much like her iconoclast husband, Vergine rattled the male-dominated field of art criticism with provocative essays on body art in the 1970s, including her 1974 book The Body as Language. “Witty speech, strong personality, and with an attentive and participatory gaze of contemporaneity, Vergine was an avant-garde figure in the female panorama of criticism,” writes Artribune. Though they married in 1978, Vergine and Mari had worked together since the 1960s, and she actively influenced the direction of his projects.

Noa Santos, former Homepolish CEO, launches another networking tool for interior designers.

Homepolish, a popular service that connected homeowners with emerging interior designers, suddenly shuttered this past fall. Even though the company reached a $100 million valuation, its founder and CEO, Noa Santos, had failed to secure enough investment to keep the rapidly scaled business profitable. Despite its scandalous closure, Homepolish disrupted the industry with a first-of-its-kind technology platform that helped democratize the design process and champion emerging talent. These principles now inform Freddie, a new membership-based networking tool for interior designers, for which Santos will serve as an adviser. Freddie will provide designers access to community events, brand-building assets, business support, and exposure through digital platforms. Santos promises the business won’t scale beyond its means: “Freddie is grounded in the idea of herd intellect,” Santos tells AD. “The only reason I’m back again is because I truly believe in the importance of design and collaboration.”

A catlike geoglyph at the Nazca Lines in Peru

Archaeologists unearth a 2,000-year-old catlike geoglyph etched onto a Peruvian hillside.

Peru’s Ministry of Culture has discovered the 40-yard-long etchings of a catlike figure on a Peruvian hillside known as the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO heritage site located in the desert 250 miles southeast of Lima. Archaeologists accidentally unearthed the geoglyph while remodeling, a discovery that “shows, once again, the rich and varied cultural legacy of the site,” the ministry said in a statement. Since the Nazca Lines were discovered, in 1927, images of a hummingbird, monkey, and an orca have been unearthed. Ancient Peruvians were believed to create the images by scraping off dark layers of the earth—contrasting with lighter colored sand underneath—for use as travel markers. 

Brooklyn will receive a Ruth Bader Ginsburg statue during Women’s History Month 2021.

The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspired an outpouring of tributes on social media and through public art in recognition of her influential jurisprudence. To celebrate Women’s History Month, in March 2021, the artists Gillie and Marc will unveil a bronze statue of the Supreme Court Justice at City Point in Brooklyn, the borough where she was born in 1933. Aligned with Ginsburg’s decades-long legacy of promoting gender equality, the commission will help bring parity to New York City’s statues—only five of the city’s 150 monuments commemorate real-life women as of 2019. Marc says using bronze is crucial: “To have one’s likeness cast in bronze is an unmistakable message that your contributions should not, and will not be forgotten.” 

The Flaming Lips encased in plastic bubbles

Today’s attractive distractions:

Understanding Rococo architecture may help forecast the future of glitch art.

The Flaming Lips perform a set encased entirely in individual plastic bubbles.

Mucinex gets into the fashion game by debuting a six-piece sickwear collection.

Denizen Works builds an innovative floating church for the Diocese of London.


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